Market Focus with Tom Hudson – Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012

TOM HUDSON: We did see a little stock rebounds today. Let’s get you go ahead and
get updated with tonight’s market focus.

The selling yesterday was the worse selling we’ve seen all year. A
little bit of a buy back today, buyers stepping in to the market really
from the get-go in the opening bell, and stayed throughout the session for
the S&P 500. Optimism is building that Greece will have enough lenders
agree to take a loss by tomorrow’s deadline, and, of course, that strong
private payroll jobs data helped today as well.

Nine of the 10 major stock sectors were higher. Two of the worst
sectors yesterday were two of the best today. Financials and industrials
were up by at least 1 percent. Consumer discretionary stocks also squeaked
out a 1 percent gain in the session.

Conglomerate General Electric (NYSE:GE) really kind of helped the move
and push the Dow and the S&P 500 higher. Shares gained 2 percent on
heavier than usual volume for G.E. The company added to the overall market
optimism and sentiment by sticking with its 2012 financial forecast.

Drug giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has been looking to sell its animal
health business since back in July. Today, we learned that Swiss drug
maker Novartis has made an offer for as much as $16 billion, according to
the “Wall Street Journal,” but the bid was rejected.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) shares didn’t move much on the news, up only 0.5
percent as the company may decide instead of selling the animal health
business, it would spin it off. Now, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) launched this
strategy last summer to shed this business and as well as its nutrition
operation as a way to focus on its core drug-making operation.

Meantime, Novartis shares added a fraction. They have seen some sharp
selling over the past three weeks since announcing a voluntary recall of
hundreds of thousands of a high blood pressure medicines due to a possible
mix-up of the tablets.

Internet radio operator Pandora hits some sour notes today over
worries about its growth rates. Shares lost a quarter of their value, a
big move down after releasing a disappointing outlook for the quarter and
for the entire year. With rising costs, investors are concerned about if
the company’s subscriber and advertiser growth rate can keep pace. Now,
all this came after reporting a bigger than feared quarterly loss.

While gold prices rose a little bit yesterday, still below $1,700 an
ounce, though. We did see a couple of gold miners continued to see selling
pressure. Freeport McMoRan and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) fell.

The Indonesian government cut how much foreign investors like these
two can own of mineral and coal mines, down from 80 percent currently to
less than 49 percent. So, that could have foreign mining companies
gradually sell part of their stakes. Both Newmont and Freeport have
interests in Indonesian mines.

We did see some oil refining stocks heat up, those crude oil and
gasoline futures are both higher.

Tesoro jumped 4 percent after receiving an analyst upgrade to neutral
from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch, expecting shares to benefit
from the price differences between crude oil and gasoline– in other words,
the profit margin.

Fellow refiner Valero was up as well, rising more than 7 percent.
This is VLO’s highest price since late May. Volume doubled on this rally.

In commodities, we did continue to see selling in the grain markets,
where corn fell another 2 percent from May deliver. And wheat from May
delivery down 3 percent.

And that is tonight’s “Market Focus.”

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